A well-done end-of-season recap will help keep ‘em coming back for more
| 3 min read
One of my son’s favorite coaches would send hilarious team emails all season. A particularly memorable one, sent the night before the championship game, asked that the boys “stay away from attractive nuisances (trampolines, skateboards, whiskey).” It was no surprise when his wrap-up email brought me to tears. Highlighting the ups and downs of the season and the team’s ability to rally together, the email practically had its own ‘80s montage music. I happily signed my son up the following year.
Sending a final message to your team is a great way to end a memorable season. Long-time youth soccer coach Mike Singleton, and rec soccer coach veteran Joey Wolff, share their tips on what to say in the final moment – and what to keep to yourself. No matter how you decide to wrap it up, giving feedback for the time between seasons will help players grow and keeping it positive is key to getting players – and their parents – to sign up again.
Do highlight all the fun that was had. Talk about a team mantra or routine that the players loved. “Share the back story,” says Singleton. Think about your team’s chemistry and times when players interacted positively. Did something make you proud as a coach? Families want to know!
Don’t focus on the team record. Highlighting the number of wins and losses isn’t going to help anyone.
Do be specific about each player. Explain how each person contributed positively to the team. “Giving some form of player evaluation feedback is always good,” says Singleton, who suggests listing two strengths for each player. For older kids, mentioning one area to work on is helpful, as well. Wrap it up by pointing out how the player will be an asset to the team the next year.
Don’t list all the skills the kids still need to work on. That can get overwhelming, if not downright depressing. You can always make notes for next year so you can hit the ground running.
Do talk about the progress your team made over the season. “This can be specific skills they learned or just how they were able to play as a team by the end of the season,” says Wolff. Maybe by the last game, your team of 6-year-olds could sit quietly and listen to instructions. Count that as a win and share it!
Don’t give out special awards, like MVP or Best Defender. Without fail, kids will compare awards and end up with hurt feelings.
Do thank parents for all their time and energy getting the kids to practices and games and for cheering on the sidelines. Let them know if you’ll be coaching next year and how to sign up for the next season.
Don’t share the embarrassing stories. You’re not their mom.
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